Former Lebanese finance minister to be appointed PM

New Lebanese government to be made up of both politicians and technocrats.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammed Safadi
Mohammed Safadi

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has agreed with Hezbollah, the AMAL Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement that former finance minister and businessman Mohammed Safadi would be nominated as Lebanon’s next prime minister, several Lebanese television networks reported on Thursday night.

The reports followed a meeting between Hariri and the political aides of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Lebanese broadcaster MTV said the new government would be a mixture of politicians and technocrats.

Hariri announced his resignation late last month following ongoing protests against the country’s entire political class.

The protests in Lebanon were initially started in response to what has become known as the “WhatsApp Tax”, which would have seen a 20-cent daily fee being charged for messaging app users. The tax was later scrapped but the protests have continued and have morphed into a cross-sectarian street mobilization against a political system seen as corrupt and broken.

Growth in Lebanon has plummeted in the wake of repeated political deadlocks in recent years, compounded by the impact of eight years of war in neighboring Syria.

Hariri’s resignation left a political vacuum at a moment of acute crisis, with reforms urgently needed to ward off even deeper financial problems in one of the world’s most heavily indebted states.